NSW v WA, Sheffield Shield, Sydney January 24, 2013

O'Keefe enhances Test claims

ESPNcricinfo staff

Western Australia 9 for 232 (O'Keefe 3-52) v New South Wales
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Granted a glimmer of hope for the tour of India when Michael Beer suffered a shoulder injury at training this week, the New South Wales captain Steve O'Keefe did his cause no harm by nabbing three wickets as Western Australia struggled on day one of the Sheffield Shield match at Blacktown Oval.

Sending Michael Hussey's Warriors in to bat appeared a curious call at first, but O'Keefe winkled out the first wicket, that of Marcus Harris, and added two more to ensure the hosts ended the day in control of proceedings.

As significantly, O'Keefe impressed observers with his control and subtle variations, in what was perhaps his most convincing spell at the bowling crease all season. Given the circumstances, this was a strong sign for the national selectors.

It was a well-rounded display by the Blues, for all five bowlers picked up wickets, including Moises Henriques, who arrived after the game had commenced due to his early flight from Hobart where on Wednesday night he had helped Australia to an ODI series tying victory over Sri Lanka.

WA's batsmen struggled for rhythm and occupation in the first match since the end of the BBL, no-one passing 50 despite a quintet of starts. Hussey managed 29 before becoming a victim of Chris Tremain, playing his second first-class match after a debut late last season.